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Big East home and away matchups for St. John's (updated with poll)

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The next year features a ridiculously tough schedule for the Red Storm including games at Kentucky, at Duke, at home to what should be a better UCLA team, at home in the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament, at Detroit, against rival Fordham in the Holiday Festival, against local foe St. Francis at Carnesecca, with more to come (Rhode Island was rumored on the message boards).

But so far, the Big East schedule is looking fairly favorable. Below, the mirror opponents and the Red Storm's home and away matchups.

The Red Storm's home-and-home assignments were dealt today, based on the Big East coaches' ranking of the teams; those teams are placed in tiers by rankings, and then given somewhat appropriate mirror opponents. So the weakest teams in the league won't play a slate of teams that the coaches think will be the top 3, and teams near the top won't get an easy road by playing a trio of low-resistance squads.

St. John's Big East mirror opponents, per ESPN, are:

Cincinnati

Georgetown

DePaul

That looks favorable to me. The Big East squad close to me in the midwest, the Bearcats who have been the mirror opponent for four of five years (thanks to Jaden for pointing that out), and the old rival Hoyas.

No Louisville or Syracuse as home-and-homes, two squads that I expect to come in firing on all cylinders. Both of those teams are near the top of the league in returning minutes, and don't lose a lot from their squads. Meanwhile, I think Georgetown, DePaul, and Cincinnati all have some serious question marks.

And we will delve into those question marks in the coming two weeks, continuing the Mind the Gap series on what Big East teams have the biggest question marks going into their summer sessions and pro-am leagues.

UPDATED: The full set of home and away matchups for the Red Storm:

St. John's 2011-12 Big East home/ away matchups
Home
Away
Cincinnati
Cincinnati
DePaul
DePaul
Georgetown
Georgetown
Louisville
Connecticut
Notre Dame
Marquette
Providence
Pittsburgh
Syracuse
Rutgers
Villanova
Seton Hall
West Virginia
South Florida

Notes:

  • The local games (Seton Hall, Rutgers) are both on the road. And Connecticut, too, if you think of them as local.
  • Will there only be three Big East games at Carnesecca Arena this year (and will Madison Square Garden renovations play a part in that scheduling)? Only Cincinnati, DePaul, and Providence seem Carnesecca Arena-worthy. Louisville, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Villanova, and Syracuse all seem too big for the arena in Queens... West Virginia has a fanbase but they may not be as good next year.
  • The young squad will have a lot of chances to knock off a marquee team at home in MSG; the toughest matchups for the Johnnies will be at home, except for Pittsburgh. Connecticut might be tough... but they also might not, post-Kemba.
  • As long as the games aren't scheduled on a certain weekend in January, I should be able to hit Marquette and DePaul. So that's good, for me!